Officials, residents concerned over power plant’s transformer

In the wake of a three-hour blackout last Sunday that was blamed on equipment in the Greenport Village power plant, residents and officials voiced concerns about the condition of that plant at Thursday’s Village Trustees meeting.

“This is little scary,” said Bill Swiskey, a former utilities director in the village who’s a regular attendee at board meetings. “If the transformer faulted like it indicated it faulted, it’s going to have to come offline and go away and be rebuilt. And that could be a very expensive item.”

“It’s very scary,” Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said. “When the transformer went down, I was concerned myself and I still am. That’s why we are trying to get a quick answer on it and see what we need to do to get us back up and running with what we should have.”

Mr. Swiskey said it’s also strange that no alarms went off when the plant went down, as a village press release on Monday had indicated.

The press release also stated, “Although village personnel are able to run our generators, they have limited experience and more training is required to become proficient in all operating modes.”

Resident John Winkler suggested the village use Mr. Swiskey’s expertise.

“The board should swallow its pride and use him,” he told the board.

“At some point, this board is going to have to admit that there’s something wrong at the power plant,” said resident John Saladino.

Village Administrator Paul Pallas said A&F Electrical Testing was on the site following the blackout but had yet to determine how much damage was done to one of the transformers in the blackout.

At the request of Trustee Doug Roberts, the trustees discussed the plant in executive session following Thursday’s work session to deal with personnel issue and to consult with the village attorney.

Executive sessions are not open to the public.

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